Gambling Addiction: AG Healey & the Massachusetts Gaming Commission – Real Concern or Political Hooey?

healey-web-sm           MGC

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has been against casinos in Massachusetts from the beginning.  So, why would she stop now at building a reputation as the “Tough Anti-Casino AG.”

Recently, she recommended the implementation of certain provisions aimed at protecting state residents from spending “considerable amounts of money” at the proposed four casinos/slot parlors, which the Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved last week.

Attorney General Healey called for regulations that would minimize the negative effects of casino gambling, yet, isn’t this what Massachusetts wanted – to steal the Mass gambler’s bucks being spent in other surrounding states.  In other words, spend the same amount, but just in Massachusetts and certainly no more than what you’ve been spending.  (Although, I’m sure the Mass Legislature won’t give back the revenue of those in financial ruin.)

It is true that Mrs. Healey has been consistent with her viewpoint, but is the Massachusetts Gaming Commission consistent in theirs?  I believe there are certain comprimses that the MGC will make as long as the money stream starts flowing in the upcoming years.  Is the MGC really as concerned about gambling addiction and crime as AG Healey?  You decide with the following. Here is what Attorney General Healey has recommended so far, and what the MGC has done with them.  You will find a few NETime Gambling viewpoints following:

  1. NO ATMs in casinos. Casino Redemtion / ATM machine Commission members admitted that ATMs at gambling venues pose serious risks to players, however, if the machines are placed outside casino floors, people will need to leave the floor thus having more time to reconsider taking out more money.  (NETG – walking away to get more money outside one’s bankroll is already a sign of gambling problems. The Commission’s compromise is to appease the AG, politics at its best)
  2. Ms. Healey pointed out that credit card cash advance fees are too high and such transactions need to be prohibited at casinos. (NETG – if anything, they should be raised. th Lowering them will only allow problem gamblers a quick trip to the Cashier in the casino to get extra money at no charge to their credit card – unless the commission and Mrs. Healey are going to put the Cashier cages outside the Casino as well.)
  3. The state Attorney General believes that players at casinos might be having their credits extended a bit too readily. Todd Grossman, Deputy General Counsel of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, explained that they have revised a language that would require casinos to assess whether their visitors are creditworthy in a reasonable manner. For instance, operators will have to collect comprehensive information about their patrons’ finances.  (NETG – Any serious gambler, with lots to spend, let’s call them “whales,” do not want to go through such time and difficulty to gamble the amounts they have available to them. Whales drive the casino revenue, not the thousands of penny-slot players. And any AP (Advantage Player) does not want all the hassle.  They’ll just go elsewhere, like back to CT.)
  4. Ms. Healey urged for measures against human and drug trafficking, and other criminal activities that might be taking place at the state’s gambling venues.  So, the commission members promised the adoption of a special provision that would require the Attorney General to be informed about any suspicions of money-laundering or other criminal activities at any of the state’s casinos. th(NETG – where was the commission the land deal between Wynn Resorts and the state transit agency. Revere Mayor Daniel Rizzo, whose administration is suing to block the casino development, suggests Healey look into how the deal came about, including why much of the discussions happened outside of public view, how Wynn became the “winning bidder” and how the $6 million sale price was reached.  The casino purchased the roughly 1.75 acres, which are part of a bus repair facility, for the resort’s main point of entry. It was the governor’s own Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs that said the state Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority violated state regulations when it completed the land deal before it could complete its own review.)

That’s all for now.



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